Programme: Sound Design - MSc

Year: 2007

Yann Seznec is a musician, sound designer, and artist living in Edinburgh. Yann studied at the University of Edinburgh, receiving an MSc in Sound Design in 2007.

His work focuses on interaction, physical sound, and unusual approaches to musical software and hardware. He has shown work at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Inspace, Chapter Cardiff, AND, MIT Media Lab, CCA Glasgow, Mediamatic Amsterdam, and the Hannah Maclure Gallery, and has played numerous shows as a part of Matthew Herbert’s quartet. Recent projects include collaborating with Matthew Herbert and the BBC Concert Orchestra to build custom software and hardware for the "Baroque Remixed" show at the Roundhouse, a Faster Than Sound residency at Aldeburgh Music, and performances at Mutek Montreal, Melbourne Recital Hall, and Köln Philharmonie. He is founder of Lucky Frame, a company specializing in fun and intuitive musical software.

What is Lucky Frame about?

Lucky Frame is a BAFTA-winning creative studio that takes an innovative and experimental approach to producing installations, instruments, and games. We've made a number of interactive music games, designed custom music software, built performance systems, and more. We've been doing more and more games recently, particularly focusing on experimental game development.

"When you build your own microphone you really start to connect with the sounds that it amplifies, much more so than something you buy off the shelf."

Yann Seznec, 2007 Sound Design - MSc graduate

How did it start?

I founded Lucky Frame after I made a music software hack for Wii remotes as part of my Sound Design MSc. The software I made ended up getting quite a lot of attention on the internet and I felt that there was an opportunity for me to turn that into a commercial endeavour of some sort! My initial plans were to make a Wii-focused music system, but I ended up branching out into interaction and games in general, though still with a strong music and sound focus. That led to securing some funding from people like Channel 4 and Creative Scotland, which let me make Lucky Frame sustainable.

What else do you do?

I make installations and music on my own as well, although this often overlaps with Lucky Frame. For example, right now I'm working on a large scale electro-mechanical sound installation for the Edinburgh Art Festival which will be built out of hundreds of computer fans. I'm also doing a bunch more work with Matthew Herbert next year, and I'll be doing some shows with my brother next year too, playing American style folk and blues.

What's the link between sound design and hacking?

For me, hacking and building things are processes that are all about digging deeper, finding out why things behave the way they do, developing an understanding which lets me better understand the outputs. When you build your own microphone you really start to connect with the sounds that it amplifies, much more so than something you buy off the shelf. You can feel the way the vibrations are translated into electricity, it makes it all feel so close. That connection to the technology is so important to me when it comes to playing with sound, it helps you work out what a sound will bring to a certain situation. There are a vast number of ways to "hack", from building a max patch to growing your own crystals to turn into piezo transducers, and I think they can all bring a deeper understanding to the sound that you craft.

Further information

Read more about Yann's work on his personal website and download some of Lucky Frame's apps here:

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